Friday, May 1, 2020


This is the April challenge for Island Batik. We were to create a quilt 36" x 36" or larger, that made good use of borders and bindings.

As soon as Storm at Sea was done, I got to work. I kept having the sense to create a quilt that symbolized this time of strangeness, of new normal, of staying at home in isolation. I started with my House Block which still is my most popular pattern on Etsy, and knew I'd put a heart as the little block on the side of the house. Then I'd add borders from there.

It's always an adventure creating a quilt from out of your head, just as you go with no firm end product in mind. It's an adventure I love.

I have two books on borders, but I only used Janet Kime's The Border Workbook from 1997 (no affiliation). There is a newer edition I see.

I decided to use the Santa Fe line. We were given 2 yards of coordinations fabrics with the 2 1/2" strips. It would push me a bit out of my comfort zone; I wasn't thrilled with that much brown, but I sure love the soft pinks and the turquoise and lighter chops. Thank you so very much to Island BatikAurifilHobbs Batting, and Schmetz Needles for supplying fabric, thread, batting, and needles.

I got the house block done, making the heart with almost every colour in the Santa Fe line. As soon as I'd seen the hearts borders in the book I knew I'd incorporate that border. Having only 2.5" strips was limiting, (that's part of the challenge though!) and this border required 2.75" heart strips. You make it seminole piecing style. I was upset until I thought, 'hmm, I could just sew a 1/8" seam and then I'd have the correct finished size for this border! 

I had the idea to have the word 'home' on the block, and at first was thinking Crafted Appliqué (no affiliation with Amazon), but then remembered the book I'd won in Sarah's Confessions of a Fabric Addict, H2H 2017, Sam Hunter's Quilt Talk. It is a paper-pieced alphabet, so that would be yet another technique. I put a purple heart on either side, picking up the purple front door. Then I thought I needed to include the paw prints since a house isn't a home without our fur kids, all three. It was with these two borders that I knew the quilt would be asymmetrical in borders; I didn't want a 'vortex' look.

I just love Deb Tucker's migrating geese (see my ever-unquilted RSC quilt here that is still sitting on my FAL for yet another quarter). I thought it would be kind of cool to do them in the Bermuda fabric as background, kind of like sky. I did some math to get them to be an appropriate size and made a string.  They'd go across the top. My town, Kingsville, is well known as the home of Jack Miner, lover of birds, where his home and acreage are still a bird sanctuary, and where hundreds of Canada geese live/visit all year round. Lake Erie is only a few kilometres south of his place. 

Lake Erie is only a couple of minutes walk from my house; therefore I thought it would be symbolic to include the waves border somehow. 

I loved the braid, and seriously considered it, but it wasn't very wide. I also love the accordion border, as it has such a cool 3D effect, if I could just get a light and a dark shade from the 2.5" strips....
I could.

Now because all these borders were different finished widths, I had to do some serious figuring. With the addition of some coping pieces, it all worked out. Inner (and final frames after the above photo) were added to define certain areas, and give a rest, so to speak. Also once I felt that the originally planned scalloped binding wouldn't look right, I knew I'd do the flanged binding. Well, that flanged binding needs a plain edge upon which to sit. Otherwise, it covers perfect points; yep, ask me how I know this....

I loaded it onto Avril yesterday afternoon and started quilting, and immediately my "straight lines or wavy lines only, Sandra" plan went out the window. I couldn't not give a little definition here and there. Those geese! They were just SITD and then back and forth lines between. Then I did a ton more SITD with a little jazz here and there. Water went in the waves, and waves in the border above the waves. I even worked my initials into the corner by the water quilting. Of course not only did I piece the entire quilt with the medium green Aurifil, but I used it, and the palest of greens, same one I used on Storm at Sea, received in this year's box, and then used the dusky pink, also received in my 2020 box, to stitch down the binding.
Notice the half moon window in the door? (fist punch) I cut one of the circles that is in the 'sand' below the house block in half and appliquéd it on.

The flanged binding, all the pinks, and two of the browns, turned out perfect; just look at the final join!
This closeup of the quilt front and back reminds me to boast about the fabulous tension on Avril.
Pretty darn chuffed with that. It's always a hard thing to do is join the final ends; getting that flange to line up on the mitre is tricky. I always baste across the join with a half dozen stitches, check, then rip, and redo, or in this case, gasp with pleasure and sew it! 

Here is a shot of of the flanged binding, front and back.

Avril is just about ready to migrate herself... Yep, I bought new track from my favourite quilt shop in Chatham, and it was delivered to my door! She's keeping her business afloat by taking customer orders over the phone/Facebook/email and then she drops them off. You may recall MacGyver had to cut the track in order to fit a slimmer version of Avril into the downstairs bedroom where she's resided for the past year... 'because renos'. My catch phrase that excuses everything wrong/odd in our lives.

Here is my label:
That is such an excellent pen for writing on quilt labels! Thank you to Preeti, Sew Preeti Quilts, who sent it to me a few years ago; it's still going strong!

And I remembered, only just, to sew in my satin label.

Here is the entire back, 'Bubbles' in Nutmeg.

Three-quarters of the way through sewing the binding down I remembered I needed a hanging sleeve! Thank goodness I hadn't sewn more than a few inches of the top edge of the binding, so I used one of the remaining strips for it. Note to self, you need minimum 3" for a hanging sleeve. The dowel fits, but only just.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Original design
Size: 33.5" x 34.5"
Fabric: Island Batik Sante Fe
Backing: Island Batik
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom 100% natural unbleached cotton
Quilted: on Avril my Avanté; 37 569 stitches
Threads: pieced with Aurifil on my Bernina; quilted with Aurifil 50 wt, The Bottom Line in the bobbin

I've sat with a cup of tea, long gone by now, on my front step, (my mum would NOT approve, thought it not classy to do so), but the sun is so nice, the birdsong so gorgeous, and a hummingbird just came within a metre of me, drinking from the azalea. Also the magnolia is just gorgeous. And I don't have room for a chair.

The detail! The size! That PINK!💖

Now it's pedal to the metal for my May blog hop post, which is scheduled for May 12! No pressure. Home décor is the order of the day, er, blog hop. I know exactly what I'm doing (well and I've already added one, maybe two squirrel home dec items if I can manage them) and I cannot WAIT to get started; the line I get to work with is fanTABulous.

Here is the hop schedule. Island Batik is having giveaways as per usual, and they're terrific ones. Most of the ambassadors are also having giveaways.

Janet Yamamoto ~ Whispers of Yore
Carol Moellers ~ Carol Moellers Designs 
May 5
Carolina Asmussen ~ Carolina Asmussen
Suzy Webster ~ Websterquilt
May 6
Megan Best ~ Best Quilter
Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood
May 7
Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs
Denise Looney ~ For the Love of Geese
May 11
Pamela Boatright ~ Pamela Quilts
Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde
May 12
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Sandra Walker ~ mmm! quilts
May 13
Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail 
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack’s Blog 
May 14
Vasudha Govindan ~ Storied Quilts 
Carla Henton ~ Create in the Sticks
May 18
Joanne Hart ~ Unicorn Harts
Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
May 19
Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for Quilts
Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke
May 20
Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter
Jennifer Strauser ~ Dizzy Quilter
May 21
Sharon Riley ~ Sew Riley Designs
Alison Vermilya ~ Little Bunny Quilts
May 25
Gail Renna ~ Quilt Haven Threads

Linking up


  1. Everything you incorporated into this is so apt for 2020 and they way we have to live right now. And the brown, not one of my fav colours either but it fits in so well. Two cups of tea, a chocolate biscuit and a glass of wine would all be a just reward for this stunning version of " HOME ", and that is exactly where our hearts are right now.

  2. Nice job on meeting your April challenge!! LOVE the color you chose and the selection of borders you used.

  3. This is such a beautiful quilt--I love everything about it--those colors are perfect-
    What a wonderful job you did on making this one...
    ~ ~ ~ waving from afar Julierose

  4. If this quilt doesn't speak of home, nothing ever will. Home is where the heart is at this time in our lives and you brought it all together beautifully. The paw prints, the hearts, the house with the heart block. I love it all! Those magnolia blooms are gorgeous.

  5. That's beautiful, Sandra! I love all the different borders and the meaning behind each one. The magnolia is gorgeous, too.

  6. Sandra, you’ve outdone yourself! This quilt is amazing with all the details. I love all the meaning you packed into it. And I wish I were sitting on the step with you. Those magnolia blossoms are wonderful.

  7. This is a wonderful memory quilt... great job!

  8. I love the quilt, message, and execution, Sandra. The paw prints especially make this seem like "home" for you to me!

  9. I enjoy reading each of your posts, and how you put so much of yourself into each project. This is all just so good, right down to those cute little paw prints. I'd like to smell those magnolia!

  10. Beautiful, a great finish. I love a flanged binding. The final join can be a pain and yours is perfecto.

  11. It's lovely & so meaningful in our situation right now. Take care.

  12. Hi Sandra! Just sayin' that the addition of the paw prints puts this piece way over the fabulous moon! My mom hated that my dad and I sat on our front porch and watched the world go by. Actually, he shelled and ate peanuts that weren't allowed in the house - too messy - I found out much later, so I understand you thinking twice about sitting on the stoop. Sweet details throughout this quilt like the half-moon window on the front door and of course, the heart on the side. Excellent job, my friend. I can't wait to see/hear about the new Avril's new tracks arrival. Stay healthy and safe! ~smile~ Roseanne

  13. Oh, I love this one! House quilts are the best, and you've added so many wonderful touches. The paw prints (of course!) and waves sing especially melodically to me. And I nodded and smiled in recognition with your victory over the flanged border final seam. Yes!! Perfect! Thanks for the smile today :)

  14. Great job on this IB challenge. Your many different border treatments add so much to this sweet piece.

  15. Such a great job with this, Sandra -- especially the paw prints, because of course our furbabies make home feel so much homier!! :-)

  16. I love everything about this....maybe the paw prints and the flange binding are my favorite things. That border book is a handy one! I always wanted to make a paw print border, just haven't.

  17. That is an amazing quilt. It is warm in spirit, and comforting, and beautiful. It is also a technical triumph that I hadn't appreciated until I had a really good look at all those borders, and the quilting. I bow.

  18. Another beautiful quilt. So much detail in all the borders. Love the heart in the home because it is true..Home is where the Heart is! And all the little details you include in your post make this quilt so much more precious. I love to see the flowers of spring blooming. Thanks for sharing.

  19. You knocked this challenge right out of the park! It's awesome. So much meaning throughout the entire quilt. I've been on the hunt for one of those Pentel fabric pens. I did a search for fabric pens, but can't seem to buy it.

  20. This is so wonderful, for any time but especially for now. I feel like staying home is the most loving thing we can do for our communities and this captures all my emotions so well. I absolutely love the house and all the details in it. The pieced heart, the window in the door, all of it. Lovely challenge!

  21. What a great quilt to commemorate a very strange time indeed!

  22. Beautifully done! Love all the different elements your incorporated into the final design.

  23. Hi Sandra, I really love your quilt. It's fun to add elements to a quilt that has meaning (like those big paw prints!) Thanks for linking up to Free Motion Mavericks!